Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation Supports LPHP

As Chairman of the Lower Presidio Historic Park Committee for the Old Monterey Foundation, I was invited to attend the Annual Gathering of the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation (OCEN) on August 12 at the Park. The City permits this group (and only this group) to camp out at the Park for this four-day event, which is held annually. About 150 members (out of an estimated 600) were in attendance, some in traditional tribal garb, and that Saturday was the focal event of the Gathering, with tri-tip barbecue and a feast at 2 pm.

I expected to simply sit at a table to pass out brochures about our Phase I Plan for the LPHP, but Louise Miranda Ramirez, Tribal Chairwoman of OCEN, introduced me to the Gathering and invited me to speak. I described our Plan and solicited questions and comments in about a 30 minute presentation. The OCEN considers the Lower Presidio to be sacred ancestral land and the comments I received were of concern that we treat the land with due respect. I described our designs for trails and signs that would not penetrate the earth or in any way disturb the evidence from the past 10,000 years which is buried in the ground at LPHP.

I am pleased to report that the response from the members was positive and supportive of our efforts. We also talked about celebrating our local Native Americans at a festival to be sponsored by OMF sometime next year. It is unfortunate that our local tribes are not better known among the citizens of Monterey and Monterey County, but hopefully the work of the Old Monterey Foundation will begin to rectify that situation. They were here long before European explorers arrived and deserve proper historic recognition in our community.

I was also struck by the strong sense of injustice the members feel about not being among the federally recognized tribes in California. They were once so recognized, beginning in 1883 as the San Carlos Band of Mission Indians, and later as the Monterey Band of Monterey County. The discovery in 1905 that 18 treaties between California Indians and the U.S. had never been ratified by the U.S. Senate, led to the Monterey Band being formally recognized in 1906. Unfortunately, the Monterey Band and OCEN were erroneously dropped from the list of federally recognized tribes in 1923. Compared to many other California tribes who ere compensated with land grants from the Federal Government, OCEN has only been offered the paltry sum of less than $1,000 for the loss of many million acres of land to American settlers. This injustice is still paramount in the minds of members of OCEN.

I was followed in my talk by Col. Laurence Brown, Commandant of the Presidio, and then by Senator Bill Monning. Although the day was a bit chilly and overcast, a good time was had by all.
For more information about OCEN, go to http://www.ohlonecostanoanesselennation.org .

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Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour to focus on Fort Mervine Saturday, September 16, 2017

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017:   “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: “Focus on Fort Mervine”. Tim Thomas will discuss the era of Fort Mervine at Lower Presidio Historic Park.

The First American Fort on the Pacific After the United States took control of the Mexican capital of California at Monterey in July 1846, the US Army built its first American fort on the west coast on this hill. Fort Mervine overlooks the harbor, located above what had been an earlier Spanish and Mexican fort called “El Castillo.” It was eventually named for Captain William Mervine.

Under direction from Commodore Sloat, Captain Mervine led the forces ashore to raise the American flag over the Custom House of Monterey. Construction of the fort began in 1846 under the direction of engineer Lt. Henry Halleck and the supervision of Lt. Edward O. C. Ord. Both men would later go on to become notable Civil War generals as would a young lieutenant who assisted in the fort’s construction named William Tecumseh Sherman. The fort was completed in 1847.

Fort Mervine was first known as Fort Stockton in honor of the Navy commander of the Pacific Squadron. When the U. S. Army’s Third Artillery arrived in 1847, they renamed it “Monterey Redoubt.” But the renaming didn’t stop. The fort was called Fort Hill, Fort Savannah (for Commodore Sloat’s flagship), Fort Halleck, and so on at various times. But Fort Mervine is the name that finally stuck. Fort Mervine consisted of barracks, officer’s quarters, a bakery, and other buildings enclosed by a wood palisade atop an earthen mound. It was 650 feet long and 400 feet wide with ravelins – angled, fortified embankments housing artillery pieces – at each corner. Today only the forward ravelin remains, mounted with four 1861 Siege rifles and one 24-pound siege howitzer.

The fort closed in 1852 during the Gold Rush, then was reactivated during the Civil War, only to be closed again in 1865. The ruins of Fort Mervine now stand as the ancestor to the present day Presidio of Monterey.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum. Note: there will be construction in the area during September.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email timsardine@yahoo.com.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

Pacific Street Exit from Lighthouse to Close September 6th through October 6th

The Pacific Street off-ramp from Lighthouse Avenue will be closed from Wednesday, September 6th through Friday, October 6th. The full closure affects the Pacific Street exit from Lighthouse up to the pedestrian overhead bridge.

Pedestrian access to the Lower Presidio Historic Park will be open, but ADA access may be limited at times during the construction.

The work is part of Phase 4 of the citywide Measure P street reconstruction and ADA (Americans with Disabilities) improvements and includes new paving, enhanced street markings, ADA ramps and a crosswalk at Artillery. New sidewalks will be placed at this location and extend northward onto Lighthouse Avenue. The sidewalk work will be constructed at night with Lighthouse Avenue reduced to one lane during construction hours.

Travelers coming into Monterey from this direction are advised to be aware of the construction zone and detour, and allow more time to reach your destinations.

“We understand that closing a major artery between two sections of town is not ideal, but the result will be a new, safer sidewalk and a reconstructed road,” says acting Public Works Director Steve Wittry. “The end product will be worth the temporary inconvenience.”

Please sign up for a weekly construction news email to receive the latest on this and other city construction projects. Also read the newly published Measure P second year report to see all the work completed to date.

City of Monterey News Release

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

 

ADA Pathways Groundbreaking Ceremony

On August 14th, Board Members of Old Monterey Foundation, City of Monterey officials and staff, Garrison Commander Lawrence Brown, NIP representatives and others gathered for a well-attended Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new ADA Pathways to be constructed at Lower Presidio Historic Park.

For more information, to make a donation or become a Friend of the Lower Presidio, call  (831) 346-3030

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

Groundbreaking Ceremony for new ADA Pathways at the Lower Presidio Historic Park Monday, August 14th

Don’t miss the special Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible pathways to the Sloat, Serra and Bouchard Monuments at the Lower Presidio Historic Park, located at 76th Artillery Street and Corporal Ewing Road in Monterey on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:45 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the concrete pad just below the Saint Serra monument (across from the Presidio of Monterey Museum).

Speakers at the ceremony will include City of Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson, Garrison Commander Lawrence Brown, a representative from the Neighborhood Improvement Program, and Old Monterey Foundation’s Board President, Bill Wojtkowski.

Many local organizations have played a role in the development of this project including Old Monterey Foundation, the Neighborhood Improvement Program, City of Monterey, Rotary Club of Monterey, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Presidio of Monterey, and Granite Construction. The project is funded by the City of Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Program.

For more information, call (831) 346-3030.

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

Free Lecture on “Ninety Years of Key Decisions to Preserve Monterey’s History” Thursday, August 24

For the fourth year, Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to continue its free lecture events as part of its 2017 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

AT A GLANCE:

What:  “Ninety Years of Key Decisions to Preserve Monterey’s History”

Monterey, described as California’s most historic city, has been preserved through the impassioned e­fforts of its surrounding community. Individuals, organizations and governments have all played a role in its preservation. Join us for this discussion by community leaders who have participated in many of these achievements and challenges.

Following the lecture, Larry Chavez, President of Monterey History and Art Association (MHAA) will give a brief overview of the future of MHAA. Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will present a short overview of improvements planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park.

When: Thursday, August 24, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Where: Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey

About the Presenters

Kip Hudson (2)xx

Kip Hudson

Since 1968, Kip has been involved with community organizations and city government including the Monterey Peninsula College Foundation, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Leadership Monterey Peninsula, Old Monterey Foundation, Monterey Planning Commission and MHAA. She has also been a consultant and facilitator for non-profit boards and government groups, working on organizational issues.

Mary Wright 1

Mary Wright

Mary has lived in Monterey County since 1976. She retired from a 25-year career with California State Parks as the Chief Deputy Director and was the District Superintendent of the Monterey District. Mary has served on the California Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Lands, The Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Save the Redwoods League and is past chair of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Free Admission – Reception to follow

For more information, call (831) 346-3030

The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

About Old Monterey Foundation

Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours to focus on the Indigenous Tribes Saturday, August 19

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017:   “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour:  Focus on the Indigenous Tribes”. Tim Thomas will discuss the indigenous tribes who lived on the Central Coast of California and on the Lower Presidio Historic Park. For over 5000 years, this area was inhabited by the Rumsien/Ohlone.  The Rumsien were the first to be seen and documented by the Spanish explorers of Northern California, as noted by Sebastian Vizcaíno when he reached Monterey in 1602.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park